By Rivkah Barmore (aka Karen Akins)
Before I had a family of my own, I had a family in Santa Cruz. That “family” was the famous, the nearly famous, the soon to be famous and the soon to be dead in the Santa Cruz of the late ‘60’s.
Before I worried about salaries and benefit packages, I survived on 20 –30 dollars a week. A cashier’s wage, plus tips, at the Catalyst. (Dempsey Dumpster Dipping was allowed and quite nourishing).
Before the Catalyst became a “for-profit-business” it was a co-op, headed by Al and Patti DiLudovico. Most of the workers worked for little or no money, and were happy to do it.
Before I logged onto Travelocity to get the best deal for my next trip, we “tripped” at Ernie’s house on 7th and Soquel
Before the alphabet after my name I audited classes at UCSC for three years for the simple joy of learning.
Before my expanding waist line, I expanded my mind… sitting on the floor of the Bookshop Santa Cruz, reading the philosophers, endless conversations and debates over coffee at the Catalyst, and LSD, whenever.
“EVERY TIME SOCIETY GETS INTO TROUBLE IT LOOKS BACK AND TRIES TO FIND THE LAST SANE MOMENT IT EVER KNEW.”
– Terence McKenna, “Alien Dreamtime,” with Space Time Continuum, 1993
Before stadium concerts for exorbitant prices there was great, live music heard on the streets and in shops all over town… for free.
Before Van Morrison created the music for “Moon Dance,” he partied with us at a Full Moon Dance on Trout Gulch Road.
Before CDs, techno/house/jungle music, there was Max Hartstein’s “Space Bass” and “Perfect Music”…and it was.
Before Spa Vacations, you could get a towel and a hot tub at Big Sur Hot Springs for 50 cents on Wednesday nights; perfect for coming down after a tripping at Ernie’s.
Before kidnappings of young women, AIDS, and bad drugs you could celebrate your 23rd birthday by getting high with your friends, getting so drunk on Tequila you hallucinated, wake in the morning, hitchhike to Ken Kesey’s ranch in Oregon and have great stories to tell…like making love to a young man named Strider while a deer munched grass by your head.
Before and before and before…you could…
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